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The Cycle

News/Business. Politics, the economy, media, sports and any other issues that grab people's attention. New.

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Joe Biden 30, Biden 28, Paul Ryan 21, Obama 9, Us 9, Romney 7, America 6, Schwab 4, California 4, Sarah Palin 4, Michael Moore 3, Phillips 3, Washington 3, Paul Wellstone 3, Martha Raddatz 3, Steve 2, Iran 2, Joe 2, United States 2, Ryan 2,
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  MSNBC    The Cycle    News/Business. Politics, the economy, media, sports  
   and any other issues that grab people's attention. New.  

    October 12, 2012
    12:00 - 1:00pm PDT  

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from the "snl" set. >> i'm crystal ball. if you thought last night's vp debate was aggressive -- some get physical. >> you're in "the cycle." it was debate that delivered unlike last week in denver which featured a lackluster performance by one of the people, vice president joe biden came to play last night. and paul ryan, some could say he held his own. the fireworks flew from the start. >> vice president joe biden and congressman paul ryan. >> one month ago tonight on the anniversary of 9/11, ambassador chris stevens and three other
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brave americans were killed in a terrorist attack in benghazi. wasn't this a massive intelligence failure, vice president biden? >> wherever the facts lead us, wherever they lead us, we will make clear to the american public because whatever mistakes were made will not be made again. >> this is becoming more troubling by the day. they first blame the youtube video, now they're trying to blame the romney/ryan ticket for making this an issue. >> with all due respect that's a bunch of malarkey. when there's a crisis we pull together as a nation. even before we knew what happened to the ambassador the governor was holding a press conference, holding a press conference. that's not presidential leadership. >> the debate moved from foreign policy to the 47%. >> it shouldn't be surprising for a guy who says 47% of the american people are unwilling to take responsibility for their own lies. my friend recently in a speech in washington said 30% of the american people are takers. these people are my mom and dad, the people i grew up with, my
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neighbors, they pay more effective tax than governor romney pays in his federal income tax. >> governor romney is a good man. he cares about 100% of americans in this country. with respect to that quote, i think the vice president very well knows sometimes the words don't come out of your mouth the right way. >> but i always say what i mean. >> and of course the two sparred over entitlements. >> look, these guys haven't been big on medicare from the beginning. their party's not been big on medicare from the beginning and they've always been about social security as little as you can do. look, folks, use your common sense. who do you trust on this? a man who introduced a bill that would raise it $6,400 a year, knowing it and passing it and romney saying he'd sign it or me and the president? >> that statistic was completely misleading but more importantly -- >> those are the facts, right. >> these are two politicians do when they don't have a record to run on, try to scare people for
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voting for you. >> one of the most contentious moments of the night was about tax cuts and that $5 trillion number. >> only way you can find $5 trillion in loopholes is cut the mortgage deduction for middle class people, cut the health care deduction for middle class people, take away their ability to get a tax break to send their kids to college. >> is he wrong about that? >> he is wrong about that. >> how's that? >> you can cut tax rates by 20% and preserve these important items for middle-class taxpayers. >> not mathematically possible. >> it is possible. it's been done. >> it has never been done. >> jack kennedy lowered -- >> now you're jack kennedy? >> both campaigns are claiming victory. >> mr. ryan said that governor romney was a car guy. if they have an elevator stacked
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on their couch, i guess he was. >> there was one person on stage who was thought full, respect l respectful, steady and poised, the kind of person you want to turn to in a crisis and that was the next vice president of the united states, paul ryan. i see these obama rallies and they're chanting four more years. our cheer is four more weeks. >> guys, i have to say, that was easily my most favorite debate of the season so far. i think biden was the clear winner, gave democrats the shot of energy they needed, hammered them on the 47%, hammered him on lying, said the facts matter. the moment where they talked about abortion was so destructive because ryan said i'm going to make you all do what i believe in my catholic doctrine and biden said, hey, i believe this, i respect catholic doctrine but i'll let you do what you want to do and made the case that the supreme court is in the balance. but one of the things that i like -- i noticed that ryan can't explain any of the
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specifics on his tax plan which is very embarrass when martha raddatz said, still, no specifics? i can't imagine there are any republicans who are saying i can't wait to put this guy at the top of the ticket in 2016. i love that obstruction was part of the conversation. maybe the average voter, the persuadable is not noticing that. they talked about that over and over. you guys have to get out of the way. when biden actually used the word hostage to talk about the debt ceiling crisis and when the gop acts like the hostage taker who wants to kill the hostage, this is a great moment for dems. and finally, andrew sullivan can go to bed without wetting the bed. >> putting gesticulating aside, at the very least it was a little distracting. i will give joe biden, he did really well when it came to
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taxes, jobs, entitlements, those lines about who do you trust? go with your common sense. go with your instinct. those lines really worked. >> yes. >> this was joe being joe, connecting with seniors, connecting with blue collar workers. that was good. foreign policy, i will say, was a disaster for joe biden. and jo use that word lightly pap talk about embarrassing. martha raddatz had to tell him, you're acting like iran doesn't want a nuclear weapon. he was so -- by the way, laughing through that segment was totally inappropriate. and also had a lot of falsehoods in thinks foreign policy statement that folks like ezra klein and politico have pointed out on libya, that was not a good moment for someone who's supposed to be very good on foreign policy. that said, what conservatives wanted from paul ryan was for him to wipe the floor with jsh jb. that did not happen. he did not demolish joe with his wonky brilliance. paul ryan gave a very good, solid debate performance.
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nothing for conservatives to complain about. but it wasn't the sort of knockout that they wanted. in fact, if joe biden hadn't been there acting a little crazy, paul ryan's delivery would have been a little flat. he only looked poised because joe biden was so animated. >> yes. i think biden to me, the main takeaway from biden's performance was he stopped the bleeding. no small accomplishment there. obama came in the first debate, four points up with everybody ready to write romney off. in the last week we've had democratic panic and despair. you can see from the reaction of many people, the performance that biden gave last night, it showed democrats around the country, yes, there's something on the ticket who's still willing to fight for this thing. it gave them the hope that the obama thing will be an aberration. we'll see a different obama. that's fine. can this ever be something that's transcended? bringing undecided voters into the obama fold, maybe switching
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people around. does it work outside of the democratic base? i don't really think it does. i was thinking about why. i think a lot of it has to do with a lot of the themes that biden pressed, a lot of the themes democrats liked to see biden and hear biden pressing last night. don't necessarily have automatic resonance outside of the democratic base. i think for biden to bring it up, very effective with the base. i don't think he bro ut that up and walked the audience through it in the way the casual viewer who doesn't know that much about the tape would say, okay, i get his point. that's offensive to what romney said. >> i disagree with that. we saw how damaging that 47% was. i think that came across very well from paul ryan. the moment joe biden said with all due respect that's a bunch of malarkey, he won the debate in that moment. he made it clear he was going to call out the nonsense. he didn't take this guy seriously. he thought he was full of a
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bunch of stuff. he controlled the tone and tenor of debate. whereas the president sort of allowed romney to form the debate into the referendum that is the more favorable turf for romney/ryan to run on, joe biden made it back into the choice election and to your point, steve, you know, i think that we only have a few days until the next debate. the critical thing for biden to do was to make the base feel good again and be psyched. >> mission accomplished. >> as depressed as people were during the president's debate, they were abulient this time around. >> washington kpon for politico who's here with us, dr. jay, let's talk about the debate. what is the state of the race right now and what do you think about last night? >> i think the state of the race is very close. you talked about some of the points already today that each side is claiming as a victory. joe biden obviously w lly went
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offensive some. definitely more aggressive than obama. ryan on the other hand definitely crossed a certain threshold. this debate was about joe biden. that's a good thing for paul ryan. it wasn't a dan quayle moment or sarah palin moment. there was nothing disqualifying about his performance. it was steady and even. when joe biden look a little offality the beginning of the debate, that's with good for paul ryan. when joe biden got stronger toward the end of the debate, maybe worse for ryan. i don't think this changed the state of the race any. >> you know, jonathan, i was struck by something said just a moment ago, conservatives wanted and expected ryan to come out and wipe the floor with joe biden. that is what was inspected of him. now they say they're not sure he has what it takes to go to the next level. >> i haven't heard a lot of that so far.
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no question paul ryan is not today an experienced presidential candidate in the way of barack obama is or the way mitt romney is in his second run for the presidency. even the way joe biden is, he's run for president before. conservatives definitely wanted to see that floor wiping happen. i think one thing that joe biden reminded us all of is that he's pretty good with public policy. he's been doing it for a long time. there's maybe a tendency to dismiss him to some guy that's been off in foreign policy land or judiciary land. this is a guy who's been dealing with the budget talks with the deficit reduction packages the same way that paul ryan has. i thought it was very strong on that in terms of his command of the substance which made it harder for ryen to go out there and show himself, to have greater command. that was an area i think conservatives and republicans expected a little too much out of paul ryan. and where democrats could be proud of their guy against joe biden in terms of his command of a substance that he wasn't expected to necessarily have command of. >> listening to the romney
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campaign's reaction to this, heavy emphasis on biden's manners last night, on the laughing, the sort of dismissive attitude maybe. it seems to me the effect they're going for is making this the equivalent of al gore and the sighing in 2000 where that becomes the post-debate story. do you think that has attraction on the right, biden's manners? >> that's part of the discussion. i don't think anybody watched that debate and didn't think there were times he was smiling which didn't seem to be appropriate. particularly when they're talking about foreign policy and what was going on in libya. it looked rehearsed and practiced. i think that's been a part of the reporting not just on the right but outside of the right as well. whether that gains traction as a sigh moment or not, i have a tendency -- i doubt only for this reason, the sigh moment was dismissive in a way that president barack obama actually got hit for last week.
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i don't think biden was so much dismissive of ryan or certainly not of the audience at home which is much more important. so i think that it probably won't have quite that traction. but certainly part of the story, certainly part of what was going on last night. it was an odd first few minutes of the debate, i thought. >> jonathan, a lot has been made in the hours since of this goldilocks phenomenon. obama was a little too cool, biden was a little too hot maybe. what do we expect next week from the president? somebody just right, something in the middle? >> certainly that's what he and his advisers would hope. i think you'll see a barack obama that's very aware that the camera is on him at all times. >> right. >> i'm not sure he necessarily felt as aware of that as he probably should have in the last debate. i don't think you'll see some of the same facial completion expressions, the agitation, the frustration, the disbelief in some cases. i think you'll see a barack obama that's a lot more disciplined next time. i don't think you're going to see the kind of, you know,
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gloves off sparring match we saw in the vice presidential debate. these guys are trying to look presidential and prove to the public they're not easily agitated. the vice presidential candidates are the attack dogs. that's why you see that kind of a fight last night. it's kind of like junkyard dogs mixing it up a little bit. >> dr. j., i love you saying paul ryan was no dan quayle or sarah palin. that's setting the bar a little low. have a great weekend. see you soon. >> take care, guys. up next, the most memorable moment from the debate. ♪ [ male announcer ] the first look...is only the beginning. ♪ ♪ introducing a stunning work of technology. ♪ introducing the entirely new lexus es.
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with social media as big as it is, anyone can be a political pundit these days. who won the political debate on the internet? yahoo! found malarkey became one of the searched items. mainly the phrase, what is malarkey? the trending topics are iran, syria, unemployment and obama care in that order. searches for paul ryan outnumbered joe biden by 165%. as for google, the top question for ryan and biden were, how old is he? what stuck with the cyclists? let's put it through the spin cycle. some fun moments, weird, scary moments. like i said, paul ryan did not, i think, have a night full of great won-linerone-liners.
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he had a couple. one of the good ones that was substantive, where he took an opportunity to make a great point i think viewers probably connected with was the following. >> you see, there aren't enough rich people in small businesses to tax to pay for all their spending. and so the next time you hear them say don't worry about it, we'll get a few wealthy people to pay their fair share, watch out middle, class, the tax bill is coming to you. >> i think biden was much stronger on those keepd kinds o topics in there. >> i would play a clip from biden who i think this captured what i made of his night, which was effect knife some ways and other ways a little incoherent, jumbled together. let me play a clip of biden here. >> they talk about this great recession as if it fell out of
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the sky like oh, my goodness, where did it come from? it came from this man voting to put two wars on a credit card, a trillion dollar tax cut for very wealthy. and now all of a sudden these guys are so seized with the concern about the debt that they created. >> fell out of the sky. >> i love when he started doing it, the basic point he's making resonates with the democrats. wow, we inherited this mess from bush and the republicans. it certainly is a key point to be making. he conflates it with instead of talking about the meltdown or wall street or bush, he's talking about the deficit. it's not the deficit, it's the economy, wall street, meltdown. he starts talking about we put iraq, afghanistan, wars that biden himself voted for, he went down the wrong route after introducing a good point there. >> paul ryan didn't push him on that, wasn't quick enough to recognize -- >> you voted to are that, sir.
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>> that would have been painful. the stimulus letter discussion was absolutely devastating. >> i love my friend here. i'm not allowed to show letters. go on our website. he sent me two letters saying, by the way, can you send me stimulus money for companies here in the state of wisconsin? we sent millions of dollars. >> you did ask for stimulus money? >> on two oaks we advocated for constituents who were applying for grants. that's what we do. we do that for all constituents. >> i love that. i love that. >> i love that, too. once again, obstructionist republicans opposing policies that they actually support and know will be valuable for americans. >> the romney team had a bit of an issue this week, romney had a multiple choice situation on abortion again this week. we had howard fineman on yesterday pointing out it was a historic debate between two catholics. i was waiting, abortion going to
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come up, is religion going to come up? and it did. >> if the romney/ryan ticket is elected should those who believe abortion should remain legal be worried? >> to me, that breath in, said it all. he shouldn't have even bothered answering the question right there. i thought that was the most devastating moment for paul ryan. it showed he felt defeated on the point. that he felt like he was in a corner and didn't know how to get out of it. it is a devastating piece of information, because women's issues surprisingly have played a huge role in this campaign and have driven the gender gap. >> something joe biden said 800 times and you haven't said once, i was there. >> she was. >> we'll ask a body language expert questions, that's next.
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we we look weak, our adversaries -- >> with all due respect that's a bunch of malarkey. >> under the romney administration we will have credibility on this issue. >> vice president biden. >> incredible. >> thank heavens we have the sanctions in place. it's in spite of their opposition. >> oh, god. >> it's been discredited by six other studies, over 100 criminal investigations have been -- >> martha. >> go ahead. >> martha, look. nobody is -- >> mr. vice president, i know -- >> this -- >> i know you're under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground -- [ laughter ] >> his debate performance was as much about style as it was about substance. did he overdo it? i don't think so. we'll get to that in a moment.
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i say it's just joe being joe. ryan took it in stride and tried to hold his own. look at all that water the congressman was drinking. does he have a strenuous p90x workout before the debate? you had a different experience than the viewers because optics and body language are crucial in debates. some say that is the whole ball game. in the guest spot we have bill mcgowan, one of the top media trainers in the country, ceo of the clarity media group. good to see you sitting up straight. >> lead by example. >> you better be perfect. >> i better be. the pressure's on. >> one of the things that jumped out at me was the moments where joe biden stared directly into the camera and it seemed very intense, very serious and at least one of moments, a couple of the moments he was talking directly to seniors which, of course, he is one. it was very much like this is serious, this is real, i'm
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leveling with you, i'm one of you, listen to me. what did you think about that? >> i think it was effective, i thought it represented some of his better moments. interestingly ryan did not look into the camera except for his closing argument which obviously his closing statement, which obviously he had been coached to do. that was a moment for joe biden to be folksy joe biden and say, guys, everybody out there, who do you trust? we're leveling with you here. it was sort of that plain talk joe biden. i think it worked for him. >> it relates to the gaffe in joe biden when he looks in the camera and says something, this is what he really means. he always says what he really means, even if it's inappropriate. talk about appropriate, paul ryan must have drank a gallon of water during the debate. it was so strange, it seemed every other cutaway, at least in the first half of the debate he's drinking down some water. >> as a quasi marathoner, i think it's probably something he's used to doing. there's one thing about taking a
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sip of water and another thing to be doing the, you know, rinse and spit in the dentist chair routine. he wasn't sort of drinking. he was swishing it around and having it be noticeable. it wasn't just what he was doing, it was when he was doing it. if you notice within the first 30 or 40 seconds of walking out on to the set, he immediately reached for the water. i don't think anybody really needs to wet his whistle that early in the debate. >> right. >> it seemed as though whenever ryan was really pressed on something very aggressively by biden, he reached for the glass. >> how dare he drink water! >> if you were playing poker that would be the tell. >> steve, paul ryan could run a marathon in the amount of time if to it took to do that debate. >> i hope so. >> bill, i have to ask you about the laughing, the chuckling. i don't necessarily buy this is biden being biden. he showed in 2008 against sarah
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palin that he can bring it in. it seems like there was something intentional he was trying to communicate. do you have a sense of what that might be and what kind of impression do you think that made on the audience. >> placing myself inside the coaching session for the vice president, i think this was an attempt to swing the pendulum dramatically in the other direction. the president had been a facial flat liner that i think they decided even if it's over the top, we really need to bring some life back into this. the president's performance really kind of had this apathetic feel to it. they wanted to have the vice president show a tremendous amount of feeling. every time he smirked, laughed, all the above, it seem like it was a signal he was sending to the fact checkers, almost like i'm laughing, what he said just now really needs to be verified. >> so let's talk about joe biden's impressive range. everything from the laughing to the excited hand gestures, to
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the almost falling asleep toward the end of the debate. he got a little sleepy. tell me what you think -- how you think this reads. is that sort of all over the map performance a very effective way of emoting with an audience or does an audience see that as a little schizophrenic and disjointed? >> i think he was trying to infuse energy back into the democrats in the debate forum. i think ryan was very tightly scripted in his performance. i thought he was very clean in his delivery, but the danger of being a little too tightly scripted, it sounds a little can. although joe biden had some almost rick perry moments in the debate where he seemed a little bit lost, it was clear that he was trying to seem very thoughtful and very conversational and not overly scripted. >> yes. >> so the styles were very, very different. i think you saw that on the closing statement. i thought ryan was smoother and
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i think joe, it seem like he ran out of gas a little towards the end, i thought. >> yes. >> i love joe biden. i loved every moment of everything that he did in debate last night. apparently others felt a little differently. the rnc is up with this ad. >> last year was slower than the year before. job growth in september was slower than it was in august and august was slower than it was in july. >> so it seemed like -- >> they have that already. >> it seems like how you viewed biden's jess t biden's gesticulations -- is body language universally interpreted? >> i think it is somewhat universally interpreted. what sticks is the lasting
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impression. and that really has to be what they were doing with their hands, their facial expressions. i think it was very clear that what they wanted the lasting impression of this to be was what they were trying to spin after the presidential debate and that is these guys are great at completely telling you something that isn't at all what they've been saying for the last "x" number of weeks. i think that's what they wanted to have resonate. i think joe biden's smirking and laughing is almost synonymous with making that point. >> all right. bill mcgowan, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> before we get off the serious discussion of debate, we must note martha raddatz was fantastic, she was smart, serious, kudos to her. the debate had lots for "snl" digging into. i wonder what jason sudeikis is doing now?
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i"i'm not in favor of a a$5 trillion tax cut. that's not my plan." mitchell: "the nonpartisan tax policy center concluded that mitt romney's tax plan would cost $4.8 trillion over 10 years." vo: why won't romney level with us about his tax plan, which gives the wealthy huge new tax breaks? because according to experts, he'd have to raise taxes on the middle class
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- or increase the deficit to pay for it. if we can't trust him here... how could we ever trust him here? so now that the vp battle is over, all eyes will be on jon stewart, late-night shows and "snl" to see what they come up with. will we see paul ryan racing for the bathroom or joe biden chuckling to himself like cheech and chung. >> when my friend -- my friend recently in a speech in washington said 30% of the american people are takers. i love my friend here. why does my friend cut out the tuition tax credit for them? what would my friend do differently? >> i'm not so sure the vice
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president actually thinks of ryan as his friend. seems like a bunch of stuff to me. >> this is a bunch of stuff. here's the deal. >> what does that mean, a bunch of stuff. >> it means it's simply inaccurate. >> it's irish. >> it is. we irish call it malarkey. >> we're so excited about "snl" we've come up with a few ideas our own. >> you can't close the leads you're given, you can't close [ bleep ]. you are [ bleep ]. hit the bricks, pal, and beat it because you are going out. >> i think "snl" should play joe biden like a college kid who's had a really good time. there were times during that debate where he seemed a little, i don't know, high? there were moments talking about iran saying it's cool, man, calm down, let's calm down about it. i was there. i was there. don't worry about it. it's cool. play it.
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>> let's all calm down a little bit here. i was there when we did that with social security. i don't know what world these guys are in. these are most crippling sanctions in the history of sanctions. >> i was there when ronald reagan -- >> 800 million billion -- >> i've been to afghanistan 20 times. >> i was there, man, million billion, it's the cripplingest of crippling sanctions, like, ever, man. that's where i would go. >> what touted me was the loving way paul was staring at joe while he was talking. made me think about what might he have been thinking when he's staring at paul with this loving gaze? i wondered maybe he might say tell me more about how you used to get legislation passed in the continental congress. >> nice. >> very grandfatherly.
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>> i'm not a funny person. my thought was -- >> oh, stop it. >> you're not intentionally funny. >> thank you. >> yes, you are. >> do the exact opposite. how about biden is presented as a calm, placid figure. >> yes. >> precisely worded sentences and -- that's all i got. >> and ryan comes out in his outfit from "time" magazine, his weight lifting magazine pumping iron. >> oh, man. the ha the hat backwards. >> that would be awesome. >> whatever happens it's going to be amazing. >> great ideas. >> i'm sure they have ideas of their own. >> since biden started with malarkey and went to stuff, he could get more and more offensive throughout the debate. that's our thoughts. up next, a different kind of inspiration. einstein, fdr, jackie rob be son and the boss. the list of the 100 greatest americans of the 20th century, great ahead.
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what's in your wallet? here's your invoice.
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his morning starts with arthritis pain. and two pills. afternoon's overhaul starts with more pain. more pills. triple checking hydraulics. the evening brings more pain. so, back to more pills. almost done, when... hang on. stan's doctor recommended aleve. it can keep pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is rudy. who switched to aleve. and two pills for a day free of pain. ♪ and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels. all right. let's listen in to vice president joe biden speaking at a campaign event in paul ryan's home state of wisconsin. >> -- by doing away with exemptions for the very wealthy people. now, the one exemption, the one loophole, people usually call them loopholes, the one loophole he's made clear you cannot get rid of is the one that allows
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him to pay at 14%. seriously. and when asked what other loopholes will you cut and you heard it asked last night of congressman ryan, could not name one. not one. that's why, folks, the bipartisan group called the tax policy center, made up of former bush and former clinton economic experts, that's why they said that the romney/ryan tax plan would in fact raise taxes on middle-class families with a child an average of $2,000 a year. $2,000 a year. and by the way, every model looked at it from the so-called, the american enterprise institute, nerve accused of being a liberal organization on, says the same thing. taxes will have to be raised on the middle class if they succeed in their tax cut.
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folks, it's time to lift the burden off the middle class, not double-down on the great recession that hit them. >> that's the vice president at his first campaign event since last night's debate. there was another, let's just say intense debate going on last night but it waend biden/ryan. it was a bitter congressional race in california and it took a bizarre turn when both candidates nearly got into a fi physical fight right in front of the voters. let's take a look at this. >> that by the way with howard berman and brad sherman, two democrats in that new california system. they're running against each other in the general election for one seat in a merged district. >> crazy. >> another example of why americans are increasingly frustrated by the way our political system works or didn't work in some cases.
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our next guest says there's a silver lining, though, we just have to look back a century or so to find. he's the author of "the 100 greatest americans of the 0th century," a social justice hall of fame. he joins us how. peter, tell us about this project. 100 greatest americans. you're looking at a specific realm, social justice. can you tell us what made you put this list together and how it was put together, what the criteria was? >> sure. i wrote this book to celebrate the heroes and heroines of the 20th century. a lot of the things we take for granted, social security, the women's right to vote, the right of workers to unionize, protection for consumers, environmental legislation, the progressive income tax, all these things were aconsidered radical ideas. now they're things that we all take for granted.
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i want to remind americans that we all stand on the shoulders of the people that came before us, the activists, the organizers, writers, musicians and politicians and the athletes that inspired us to be a better country. >> this is a varied list. it goes from laguardia to bruce springsteen in the modern days. one name that jumped 0 ut at me from the not so distant past that people might remember is paul wellstone, the senator from minnesota killed in the plane crash ten years ago. why is paul wellstone on this list? >> he died ten years ago and during the time he was in the senate, he really aked like an organizer and activist. he was the ally in the senate of the progressive moment, the unions, the environmental organizations, folks fighting for better mental health and physical health. he was a fighter. he came out of a background as a community organizer. and he ran for the senate, he continued inside the senate to
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be an organizer as well as a politician. and there are lots of people in our history who were elected as mayors, city council members, congress members, even presidents of the united states who saw themselves as allies of progressives to fight the fight for a more just and equal and humane society. paul wellstone was clearly in that tradition. >> i think it's an excellent list. i'm happy to see thurgood marshall on the list. he does not get enough credit for what he did as a lawyer and supreme court justice. malcolm x, he becomes a post-racial humanitarian later in his life. he's a person who is hugely charismat charismatic, a compelling figure that had a massive impact on america. it's interesting, a lot of the cops who were wiretapping him would be listening and over time would say this guy makes a lot of sense. we should actually be helping
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him and not trying to entrap him and listening in on him. why did malcolm x get on the list? >> well, malcolm x represent the voice of a lot of low-income african-americans who were concerned about the plight of the poor. as he got older and as he became more experienced as an activist, he began to see that the hopes that unite us are much greater than the fierce thears that div. there are universals for all people, that we need to have a more humane society, we need to do better in terms of addressing the problems of the poor and middle class, blacks and whites. he grew as an individual. many people in my book started off in a different place than they ended up. earl warren was an attorney general of california but he wound up on the u.s. supreme court as the chief justice and was responsible for brown versus board of education, the integration rules, and many other progressive rulings of the
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supreme court. dwight hiaasen hower once said the worst decision he ever made was to appoint earl warren to the supreme court. >> one of the people on your list was saul linsky. a lot of tea party groups were actually contributing copies of his work to his minute to understand how to organize. what is saul alinsky's true -- >> newt gingrich is an idiot when he says saul is un-american. he believed in democracy. he believed that people, ordinary people, should have a voice. he was the founder of community organizing. what is community organizing? if you believe sarah palin it's not much. but if you believe the thousands of people around the country that are fighting for better schools, safer streets, for
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cleaner environment, for better jobs, that's what community organizers do and saul alinsky wrote the textbook on how to be a good community organizer, how to be a good activist, how to be a good citizen and it's not surprising to me that the tea party is using that book to learn how to organize because his rules for radicals, his ideas for progressive change could be used boo i anybody, but he thought that ordinary citizens should have a voice in their government. it shouldn't be just organized money, big business, the koch brothers, people like that. it should be ordinary people in their neighborhoods, in their workplaces, in their communities having a voice, and saul alinsky, who began his organizing career in the '30s and lived through the early '70s taught us all a lesson which many people are applying even today. >> professor, i had to notice that thereto weren't a whole lot of republicans on your list. i assume teddy roosevelt made the cut because of his great work in conservation, but this is a fairly partisan project,
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you'd admit. you have to be a progressive to be considered one of your top 100 americans, yes? >> well, except that back in the early 1900s many republicans were, in fact, progressives. hiram johnson was the progressive republican governor of california, earl warren, as i said earlier, was the conservative republican governor of california also, but he later became a progressive supreme court justice. the criteria for getting in my book was people who fought for a more humane, just, and equal america and worked as organizers, as activists, as politicians, and as writers and artists, people like bruce springsteen, woody guthrie. >> and michael moore made your list. >> michael moore to me is the modern day e quif lint of upton sin lair. upton sinclair wrote "the jungle" in 1906 and exposed
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americans to the awful conditions in the meat packing plants that made our food so unsafe. >> it's a horrifying book. >> our food is much safer in america today because of upton sinclair and michael moore's movie "sicko" is kind of the equivalent of "the jungle." a muck raking journalist who works with activists to try to enlighten us and expose corruption and injustice. >> professor, thank you for joining us. up next, toure's take on the america he wants to see, not the one that necessarily is. in two weeks or more. rembrandt® deeply white™ 2 hour whitening kit is proven to quickly remove surface stains and deep stains in just two hours. [ female announcer ] rembrandt® deeply white™: whiten in just 2 hours.
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america is supposed to be about fairness and justice but
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right now those traits are at risk of dying off. right now the supreme court is mulling over the future of affirmative action in the case of fisher v. texas where a white woman named abigail fisher who didn't get into ut sued because she felt she didn't get in because of race. she has lost at three levels of the justice system but it appears likely the supremes will take her side. this i think will deeply damage america. i know i would not be here today without passing through a series of skooltion and businesses that knew diversity is valuable. it's not that they admitted when when she shouldn't have. a recent study sate blacks and whites with identical resumes out to apply for jobs, blacks got job aurs haoffers half as o. in the fisher hearinging chef justice roberts repeatedly asked when will we know we've reached critical mass? this sounds to me like asking
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when is enough diversity. he's taking a short deal when the long view is required. the median wealth of white households is 206 times that of black house holds. the federal housing administration loaned millions to help homeowners become homeowners. 98% of that money went to white families. in a nation where your finances are based on owning a home, you see how if your grandparents owned a home, you are more likely to own one and if they didn't, you aren't. and thus the racial preferences that work in that government program help create the vast racial divide that we have now which affirmative action is trying to blunt. the same dynamic is at work in legacy admissions which are a form of affirmative action for people whose parents attended that university which functions as affirmative action for white people. george bush had no statistical business getting into yale and harvard business school but he did because of legacy admissions, aka

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